Not all education franchise brands are created equally or can take pride in getting families the results they came for. But not all education franchise brands are Sylvan Learning. Sylvan Learning has 38 years of experience, more than 750 locations across the world, and an entire corporate team constantly working on updating curriculum, creating new programs and enhancing technology to help improve the student experience while allowing franchisees to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.
With a solid base of locations across the U.S., Sylvan is now focusing on expanding its presence in California.
“Our combination of personalized learning as well as the technology integration into our programs has certainly captured the imagination and entrepreneurial spirit of Californians,” said Georgia Chasen, Senior Director of Franchise Development for Sylvan Learning. “California is the tech hub of the United States, and our brand has certainly resonated with locals.”
In terms of inquiries to open potential franchise locations, California ranks in the top two states in the country for the brand. This interest not only stems from California’s infatuation with technology, but the emphasis that its residents place on education.
According to the U.S. News and & World Report, California ranks as the third best state in America for higher education – behind Utah and Florida.
“Californians place a high priority on education,” said Chasen. “Because of the great secondary schools in the state, there is a high demand for additional education resources that will push students to greater heights. Sylvan programs help teach kids critical thinking skills through mastery learning and give them the confidence to be proactive in achieving their academic goals.”
The large amount of leads from prospective Sylvan Learning franchisees in the state of California forced the brand to hire local Tom Keefe as the Executive Director of Franchise Development. Keefe has experience working with education brands and knows the market has potential to be a massive focal point for Sylvan Learning.
While there are areas that might stand out to potential franchisees – San Francisco, Los Angeles, Simi Valley and San Diego to name a few – the potential for Sylvan Learning success is not limited to those areas, and there is a misconception that you will find more success just because you develop in a bigger market.
“A lot of candidates ask what the hot market is, but the real difference is in the owner,” said Keefe. “The really successful locations have great franchisees who are dedicated and are able to follow the Sylvan model. Sylvan has a proven track record and a recipe for success no matter where you are.”
Sylvan Learning prides itself on finding these committed franchisees who will follow the brand’s model while putting their individual stamp on a location.
One such example is Annette Schroen, who was the long time Center Director at Sylvan Learning in Modesto, California. When the previous franchisee decided to retire, she was given the opportunity to purchase the location to continue being a part of the brand that she cares so much about. Sylvan Learning is also known to help franchisees retire as new owners enter the system.
Another example is Cyrus and Enna Yanos. The Yanos’ have two children, one in the 1st grade and one in the 4th grade. The Yanos children attended Sylvan Learning in Stockton, California for tutoring after school, and were always excited to go. They liked how Sylvan integrated technology into the curriculum and did something different every day. When the owner of the location was looking to sell, Cyrus didn’t want his kids to lose the Sylvan experience that they cherished, and he knew that other parents in the area felt the same way. Cyrus spoke to his wife, Enna, and the two decided to become franchisees for the Stockton territory. Cyrus was also granted a territory incentive because he is a veteran, through a program offered by Sylvan Learning as a corporate initiative to attract more top candidates into their franchise system.
These two instances are great testimonials of the enthusiasm that people feel for the Sylvan Learning brand, especially in the California area. People revere Sylvan Learning because of the unique curriculum and experience that you won’t get anywhere else.
“With our personalized learning platforms, we do reassessments every 24 instructional hours or so to ensure that it’s an ongoing process,” said Keefe. “There is not one specific curriculum because we cater to the needs of each student. Sylvan does not hope that what we teach works, we prove that what we teach works. That’s the difference between us and regular schooling.”
The smaller teacher to student ratio also resonates with fans of Sylvan Learning, where there is one teacher to every three students.
“There are many reasons to go with the Sylvan Learning brand,” said Keefe. “While we have success all around the country, our brand has a particular connection with the lifestyle and priorities of Californians. Because of that, we are aggressively looking to develop in many territories all across the state. We hope to find more individuals that are passionate about what we do at Sylvan Learning to help us grow the brand.”